1901 – 1925

Rev Doel and Diaconate 
(taken from the Manse Bazaar album c.1905)
Rev Doel and Diaconate (taken from the Manse Bazaar album c.1905)

Recorded events from February 1904 to 1925


February 4th
Rev. Laurence retired owing to his age and ill health, having been the Pastor for 27 years.

March 27th
Mr Rankin continued to preach and conducted some evangelistic meetings. Mr Rankin baptised 8 candidates including Mr and Mrs William Grist, Miss Nellie Pilton and Mrs Bryant.

The Church invited Mr Rankin to become Pastor, 84 members voted for him, but he declined the invitation as he felt called to continue his evangelistic work.

May 15th
Mr Rankin baptised 13 more candidates, Pastor Laurence attended the service.

August 7th
Rev. H.G. Doel of Southwick accepted the call to the Pastorate.

August 31st
At a special service Rev Laurence was presented with a purse of gold.

H G Doel (Pastor from 1904 to 1909)
H G Doel
(Pastor from 1904 to 1909)

October 16th
Rev. Doel commenced his Ministry at the Church.

October 17th
A social evening was held to welcome Rev. Doel.

December 7th
On Wednesday of that week the Recognition Service was held for Rev. Doel when 300 people were present.

It was agreed to put a notice board outside the Church. Communion cards were issued as a check of Members’ attendance at Communion.

The Laverton Legacy for 1904 was £10-18s-6d for the poor and needy.

West End Baptist Church & Crimean Guns c.1905
West End Baptist Church & Crimean Guns c.1905


January 15th
16 candidates baptised including William Barber, Albert and Arthur Scull. Mr Charles Ingram made Treasurer.

April 30th
Baptisms took place at the Church.

July 30th
Baptisms took place at the Church.

Water was laid from Council Mains to the Baptistry and the Boiler, the cost of this main being £6-10s-0d.

November 29th & 30th
A bazaar was held in the Laverton Institute for 2 days. The purpose of this bazaar was to raise money for a Manse. (Prior to this time the Church did not own a Manse. An album of events is held at the Wiltshire Record Office Cat No 3147 Serial Number 79.)


March & October
Baptisms took place.

New chairs were placed on the Rostrum and a scripture text on a scroll was painted on the wall above the Pulpit.

Church interior c.1906
Church interior c.1906
Note the gas lamps on the pulpit and the pew doors



Two cottages were purchased at the far end of Bratton Road (now known as Hillside) for the sum of £345. These to be converted into a Manse. The cottages were re-mortgaged for £200 to raise the money for the conversion.


February 6th
Nearly half of the money for the Manse had been raised, with a further £322 needed.

April & December
Baptisms took place.

Agreed to purchase a new Bible for the Reading Desk in the School Room.

West End Baptist Church c.1908
West End Baptist Church
This copy produced for the 1908 motto text from an earlier photograph first seen in the Manse Bazaar album c. 1905. Note the wooden windows with top opening lights.


August 29th
Mrs Edith Barber baptised. (Joan’s Mother)

September 12th
A farewell service took place for the Rev. Doel, who left to go to Grays Tabernacle, Essex.


April 3rd
40+ members attended the Church Meeting where a vote was taken to invite the Rev. E Haggis to the Pastorate. 119 being in favour of the Rev. Haggis out of the 123 voting. (It is believed that proxy voting took place at this time).

E Haggis Pastor from 1910 to 1917
E Haggis
(Pastor from 1910 to 1917)

June 13th
First Church meeting held under the Rev. Haggis.

Messrs Reeves of Bratton provided an estimate of £22–10s-0d for a new boiler and an overhaul of the heating system.

December 16th
Church rules revised with copies being given to members.


A plot of land at the rear of the Church purchased for £40, (45ft x 27ft) toilets being erected on this land for the sum of £100 money borrowed @ 4%.

May 6th
Rev William Paul Laurence Pastor 1876 – 1903 (27 years) died aged 83.


Baptism of Mrs Stone and Mr P Collier.


Baptism of Mrs Scott, Mrs Owen and Miss Mabel Johnson, (later to become Mrs P Collier).

1914 – 1916

The schoolroom was opened for the troops to have refreshments, reading and writing letters.

Services were held on Sunday afternoons because of the blackout.


December 30th
Rev. Haggis resigned to go to the Baptist Church, Great Stamford, Essex after serving West End for seven and a half years. A gift of £5-3s-9d was collected for him.


A mission had been led by Mr Tait who was invited to have oversight of the Church from February until June, this being extended to December 1918. During this time he baptised Ruth and Ada Pateman and Mrs Gladys Taylor.

October 7th
Baptism of Virtue, Grace and Ivy Ingram.

Individual communion cups purchased.

October 14th
There was a need to elect more Deacons as two Deacons had been called up for active service reducing the number to only four Deacons. The names of all male members to be given to all Church members to elect from the list two names for the office of Deacon.

October 28th
Church Meeting. Number of Deacons to be increased from 7 to 9 and to serve for 3 years only.

December 16th
Mr Lush offered to put six gas lights in the chapel in memory of his son.


February 10th
A vote of 107 to invite the Rev Ernest Rankin for a term of five years.

Ernest Rankin Pastor from 1919 to 1923
Ernest Rankin
(Pastor from 1919 to 1923)

April 22nd
Rev Ernest Ranklin held his first Church Meeting.

Mr Alfred Hall, a Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent for many years died.


The Pastor’s salary doubled from £80 to £160 per annum.


A week of Mission was held.

January 31st
Annual General Meeting. 100 people present where four lady Deacons were elected. Pew rents cancelled. Envelope scheme started. Caretaker paid £13 per annum.


November 29th
Rev. Rankin tendered his resignation stating he had an invitation to Grays Tabernacle, this being the second Pastor to leave to go to Grays Tabernacle.


April 23rd
The Church purchased land from Mr Collier at a cost of £75 to build a Manse in Bratton Road (No 35), cost to build the new Manse £700 – £800.

R H Miller Pastor from 1923 to 1926
R H Miller
(Pastor from 1923 to 1926)

October 22nd
The Church invited the Rev. R H Miller of Wimbledon to the Pastorate at a salary of £120 per annum.


Members commenced taking the ‘Baptist Times’. Two silver vases given to the Church by Mr & Miss Scull in memory of Mrs Scull.

December 1st
A meeting was called to discuss celebrations for the centenary in 1925: proposed sale of work.

Church interior c.1925
Church interior c.1925

1925 Centenary Year

Work was undertaken to redecorate the Church and Schoolroom by Messrs Parsons at a total cost of £184. The walls of the Church to be painted green, the text above the pulpit ‘We Preach Christ Crucified’ paid by Mrs G Bailey. The pew doors were removed and holes made in the book rests of the pews for communion glasses.

The Vestry was decorated by volunteers.

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